Hundreds struggle to contain fire on slopes of Kilimanjaro
kilimanjaro fire

In Tanzania, efforts are still ongoing to put out a fire that has erupted on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest summit.

The Tanzania National Parks Authority (Tanapa) and local residents have been battling the flames since it started on Sunday.

The height, as well as high winds and dry weather, have impeded their efforts, causing the fire to grow quickly.

Kilimanjaro reaches a height of about 6,000 meters (20,000 ft). It is climbed by around 50,000 visitors each year.

The exact cause of the fire remains unknown.

However, it’s possible that the fire started as a result of a fire used to prepare meals for tourists.

“It appears the fire that was started to cook food… burned the dry foliage in the region and spread swiftly,” Tanapa spokesperson Pascal Shelutete told Tanzanian publication Mwananchi.

Mr Shelutete said the fire originated in the Whona region, which serves as a rest stop for climbers on two of the mountain’s several routes.

Tanapa shared photos on Twitter that show the intensity of the fire and its aftermath.

264 students from the College of African Wildlife Management (MWEKA), which is located near the mountain, have been dispatched to assist in the firefighting and distribution of supplies to firemen.
In a statement, the parks administration claimed it had taken “every precaution to ensure that the fire does not endanger the lives of guests, equipment, porters, or tour guides.”

The 5,895m (19,341ft) high Mount Kilimanjaro is a famous tourist attraction, with tens of thousands of people climbing it each year.

Tanzania sends a helicopter to help put out flames.

Meanwhile, State Aviation, a helicopter firm, has volunteered its helicopter to assist in the damage assessment.

Tanzania announced on Thursday that it has dispatched a helicopter to help put out a fire that had been blazing on Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak, in the country’s north.

“We have started deploying a helicopter to boost effectiveness in confining the fire starting this afternoon,” Hamisi Kigwangalla, the minister for natural resources and tourism, said in a statement late Thursday.

“Efforts to add additional aircraft to assist the exercise are continuing,” he said, adding that the government and other stakeholders were “continue with the efforts to add more aircraft to support the exercise.”

On Sunday, a fire broke out in the Whona region, a rest stop for climbers using the Mandara and Horombo routes, two of the most popular tourist routes up the mountain.

Hundreds of firemen, including locals and students, have been working to put out the fire.

Kilimanjaro climbs almost 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) above sea level and draws around 50,000 climbers each year.

On Tuesday, Alex Kisingo, a school administrator near the mountain, said that calmer weather was assisting firefighters in their work, offering hope that the fire may be put out soon. However, success has eluded them.

It is projected that the impact on flora and animals would be unparalleled.


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